2 Samuel 7:14-15 – “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men, 15 but My lovingkindness shall not depart from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you.” NASB
In my lifetime I have witnessed the shift in the view of parenting and watched the development of a philosophy where discipline has been eliminated. We are witnessing the terrible fruit of that view, but alas, some believe it is ‘child abuse’ to discipline a child, especially if you use a measure of corporal punishment.
That view flies in the face of the biblical approach to bringing up children and has filtered its way into the church and spiritual discipline. It is rooted in the belief that “love never punishes.” It is rooted in the view that if you punish a child you have lost control and the problem is you not the behavior of the child. I believe those are fallacious views and have produced a condition in our world where respect for others and self-discipline have been severely damaged.
The writer of Proverbs, known as the wisest man of the Old Testament, said regarding the discipline of a child, “punish him with the rod and save his soul from death.” (23:14). The previous verse admonishes, “Do not withhold discipline for a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.” In a previous chapter we are informed, “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.” (13:14).
In the New Testament, we are taught regarding parental discipline, “They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in His holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:10-11). In Psalms 94:12-14 we find the amazing declaration, “Blessed is the one you discipline, LORD, the one you teach from your law; 13 You grant them relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the LORD will not reject His people; He will never forsake His inheritance.”
In Hebrews 12 we are given some powerful information regarding correction and discipline and how it reflects Love in Action.
- Discipline is required to deter destruction (v.4).
The context of that verse reveals that that haphazard living leads to destruction. The idea presented is, a disciplined life bears the fruit of God’s blessing and has great reward.
- Discipline requires Action and Words (v.5).
As parents, we are to discipline with words and actions or warnings and consequences. This is true in our relationship with God. He warns and there are consequences for disobedience but blessing and benefit for obedience.
- The Motive is always to Express and Demonstrate Love (vv. 6-9).
- The Goal of Discipline as Parents or By God is to Teach Obedience (v.9).
- The Result is Short-term Pain and Long-term Gain. (vv. 10-11).
God does not discipline us to punish us. That is not a demonstration of love. He disciplines us to bring us into conformance with His character, nature, and holiness and that preserves our lives and brings opens to us His incredible blessings.
It is time that we, once again, embrace, Discipline and show some Love in Action in our lives, families, and world. The door to abundance is open to us.
God bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!